Atlanta Civil Rights Discrimination Lawyer

If you believe you are facing discrimination that violates your civil rights, you should contact an experienced attorney right away. It can be frightening and very upsetting to experience any type of discrimination, and it is always unacceptable. The Atlanta civil rights discrimination attorneys at Williams Oinonen LLC have dedicated their lives to protecting people from discrimination and holding the responsible parties accountable. All of our attorneys will assist you every step of the way to ensure that justice is served. Contact us today for a consultation by filling out our online form or calling (404) 654-0288.

Discrimination Laws

There are several laws that protect people from facing discrimination based on certain protected characteristics. Some of the most common ones include the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, and the Voting Rights Act.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers protection from discrimination in several situations. For example, it is illegal for a person to be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status.

Discrimination in Public Places

Federal law prohibits discrimination in public places based on race, color, national origin, religion, or disability. Public places, referred to as public accommodations, generally include hotels, restaurants, places of entertainment, libraries, post offices, and public schools. For example, a restaurant cannot refuse to serve someone because of their race, and a hotel cannot turn away potential guests because of a disability.


All employers with 15 or more employees must comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and they are not permitted to engage in discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. For example, it is illegal for an employer to promote a male employee over a female employee if the reason for the promotion or lack of promotion is because of the employee’s sex.

Voting Rights Act

The Voting Rights Act makes it illegal to adopt discriminatory practices in voting in an attempt to prevent citizens from voting based on their race, color, or membership in a minority language group. The primary purpose of the act was to ensure that all citizens had an equal right to vote.

Fair Housing Act

The fair housing act is a federal law that protects people from being discriminated against when purchasing a home, renting or applying to rent a house, attempting to obtain a mortgage, seeking assistance for housing, and engaging in other housing-related activities. There is also the Georgia Fair Housing Act, which offers the same protections as the federal law. Based on both of these laws, it is illegal to discriminate against someone engaging in these activities on the basis of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability status.

  • The Fair Housing Act does not apply in the following situations:
  • You are attempting to rent an owner-occupied building that has no more than four units
  • You are attempting to purchase or rent a home where the owner does not use an agent
  • You are attempting to rent or purchase a home that is operated by a religious organization or a private club that limits occupancy to members

Examples of Discrimination Under the Fair Housing Act

In some situations, it is very clear that someone is engaging in illegal discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. However, in other situations, it might be more subtle. The following are some common examples of unlawful discrimination under the Fair Housing Act:

  • A landlord refuses to accommodate a reasonable request based on a person’s disability status
  • A landlord refuses to rent to anyone with a criminal history without considering the facts of each case
  • A landlord fails to inform a non-white applicant of certain amenities but informs a white applicant as a way to discourage anyone who isn’t white from renting or purchasing a property
  • A landlord tells groups of protected people that a unit is not available even when it is simply because they do not want to rent to them

What Is a Reasonable Accommodation?

In order for an accommodation request to be considered reasonable, it cannot impose any undue financial or administrative burdens/hardships on the housing provider, and it cannot fundamentally change the nature of the provider’s operations. For example, it would be unreasonable to expect your landlord to transport you to and from the grocery store. The landlord’s operation is renting a house, not providing transportation.

An example of a reasonable accommodation would be allowing a renter to have a service animal on the property even though the landlord doesn’t allow pets in their properties.

Filing a Civil Rights Lawsuit

Filing a civil rights lawsuit based on discrimination can be somewhat complex, which is why it’s so important to consult with an experienced attorney. However, it’s still beneficial for you to understand some of the rules surrounding civil rights complaints and lawsuits.

Before you are permitted to file a civil rights lawsuit, in many circumstances, you are required to file a complaint with the federal or state agency first. For example, if you believe you’ve been discriminated against in your place of employment on the basis of a protected characteristic, you must file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity. Once your complaint is filed, you will be issued a notice permitting you to file a lawsuit.

Our Atlanta Civil Rights Discrimination Attorneys Will Fight for You

Civil rights anti-discrimination laws exist to ensure that individuals aren’t being treated unfairly due to a protected characteristic, such as gender, race, religion, national origin, sex, or disability status. In the U.S., citizens are protected against discrimination by federal laws, and in most of the country, they are also protected from discrimination by state laws. If you’ve experienced what you believe is illegal discrimination, you should contact Williams Oinonen LLC right away. Our Atlanta civil rights discrimination attorneys are always here to help you and ensure that you are treated the way you deserve to be treated. Contact us today for a consultation by filling out our online form or calling (404) 654-0288.